Arts & Culture

Jesmyn Ward to get historic marker for state's greatest writers

In this Nov. 15, 2017 file photo, author Jesmyn Ward attends the 68th National Book Awards Ceremony and Benefit Dinner in New York.
In this Nov. 15, 2017 file photo, author Jesmyn Ward attends the 68th National Book Awards Ceremony and Benefit Dinner in New York. Invision/AP, File

South Mississippi writer Jesmyn Ward will join other Mississippi writing luminaries on the Mississippi Writers Trail announced Wednesday.

The Mississippi Arts Commission, in partnership with the Community Foundation for Mississippi, Mississippi Humanities Council, the Mississippi Book Festival, the Mississippi Development Authority, Mississippi Department of Archives and History and the Mississippi Library Commission, said the trail will be much like the Blues Trail and the Country Music Trail, with markers at locations throughout the state that are significant to the writers' lives.

The announcement comes following The National Endowment for the Humanities' first Statehood Grant of $30,000 to support creation of the Trail. The grant program is for state history and heritage projects that commemorate the 150th and 200th anniversaries of statehood.

In addition to Ward, historical markers will honor Mississippi writers such as William Faulkner, Richard Wright, Eudora Welty, Margaret Walker Alexander and Richard Ford, with more planned. The first markers are scheduled to be unveiled in August during the 2018 Mississippi Book Festival in Jackson.

Ward, a native and resident of DeLisle, is the author of "Salvage the Bones," "Men We Reaped" and "Sing, Unburied, Sing" and editor of "The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race." In 2017, she became the first woman to win two National Book Awards for Fiction.

Mississippi author Jesmyn Ward, of DeLisle, Miss., talks about her brother,Joshua, who died when he was hit by a drunk driver, as an inspiration for her writing. This interview was first published September 13, 2013.

Tammy Smith: 228-896-2130, @Simmiefran1
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